It’s that time of year when marketers are searching for new trends and ideas to breathe new life into their content plans. We scoured our resources and chose five content marketing trends we want our team and clients to consider in 2020.
1. Videos. No, really, MAKE MORE VIDEOS!
Fact: In 2020, video will account for 85 percent of mobile data traffic in the U.S.
With YouTube now the largest search engine after Google, this trend comes as no surprise to marketers who are trying to reach audiences with relevant, informative content.
This trend is not about the number of videos you create, but rather about the content quality of those videos. Think about your customer journey. Do you offer video at every stage of the journey? Where do you have gaps? Conduct a down-and-dirty audit of your video content and use it to prioritize content opportunities in 2020.
Some ideas to get your brainstorm started: Create more customer story and case study videos, conduct and record webinars, schedule Q&A sessions with your experts, and create more walkaround and product demo videos. You can also develop a series of how-to or instructional videos, or plan a few live-stream videos from industry events.
Think broadly about video content. If your budget doesn’t support more videos, get creative. Work with popular influencers or ask your audience to create videos that you can use. Testimonials and review videos, unboxing videos, and how-to project videos are being produced every second by fans and customers. Get in on that action!
2. Voice search. It’s here and it’s not leaving.
Fact: 50 percent of all online searches in 2020 will be performed with voice search, according to ComScore.
Voice or voice-enabled search allows you to speak a voice command — instead of typing it — to search the Internet, a website, or an app for information.
As an agency, we dove into voice search in 2019 and helped our clients understand its ramifications for their content. We’ve created blog posts on the topic and even hosted a webinar.
If you’re just getting started with voice search, we recommend first optimizing the content you already have for more direct queries and questions. This means rewriting headlines and writing very specific questions and answers in your article or within the first few minutes of your video. Another great starting place is creating or improving your FAQ page. Search engines love the question-and-answer style of these pages and often reward them with featured snippet placement in search results.
Other ideas for your voice search efforts: create more tutorial and how-to content. Create cluster topic pages on your website that provide lots of information around a very specific topic. Make plans to research your target audiences and discover how they’re using voice technology and how your content can address their searches.
3. Dynamic content. Things are getting serious.
Fact: 80 percent of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand who provides personalized experiences.
What is dynamic content? When Netflix suggests you watch Carrie, Back to the Future, or Gremlins because you just binged Stranger Things Season 3 for the third time — that’s dynamic content. Dynamic content is when a company changes what content it serves you based on your interactions and demographics. Dynamic content can be used in email, website content, and Facebook ads.
Many brands are tackling how to create dynamic content experiences. It’s a big job, and the marketing department can’t do it alone. If you’re not quite ready to go all-in on dynamic content, you can use 2020 to create ultra-targeted content for specific audiences. Your personas are an excellent place to start. Create highly relevant content for every stage of your customer journey. Then, you’ll have a library of content ready when you pull the trigger on dynamic content.
4. Conversational marketing. Embrace the chatbots!
Fact: By 2023, chatbots are projected to drive $112 billion in retail sales.
If you’re confused that “conversational marketing” is being used to describe artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots, you’re not alone. While it seems counterintuitive, chatbots are enabling brands to have conversations with their customers in the places and times your customers want to have them.
Chatbots offer an interesting new channel for marketers who want to get their best content in front of engaged prospects. And because the chatbot is only as good as the script used to program it, this new channel offers good writers the opportunity to showcase your brand’s voice and tone in a very conversational way.
In 2020, brainstorm how a chatbot could best serve your company — is it as a customer service agent? A salesperson or product selector? A helpful guide to your content? Maybe an entertaining diversion from the tediousness of work? The possibilities are nearly endless!
5. Data-driven content mindset. Collect interesting data and then share it!
Fact: Understanding customer interactions across all touch points is a top challenge for marketers.
It is very likely that your company is already collecting customer data. You might be using it to personalize messages and/or create dynamic content that delivers the right information at the right time. Hooray for you if you are!
Another opportunity with all of this customer data is to create interesting content. How can you visualize your customer information to tell engaging stories, catch your audience’s attention, and position your company as an industry expert?
Google “data visualization” and you’ll see thousands of examples. Often the most compelling stats you can use in your content are sitting somewhere at your company. As the marketing department, take the lead on assembling the right people to help you compile this data and turn it into something interesting for your audiences.
If you or your marketing team want more information about any of these trends or a plan to get you started, send us an email! We love talking about content marketing!